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Anne Frank Play Focuses On ‘Assault’ — Doesn’t Mention Jews Or Nazis

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A play that ignores Anne Frank’s Jewish identity and features an unfounded assault allegation against a Jew who hid with her is generating controversy in the Netherlands.

The play, which is slated to premiere on Nov. 11 in the Netherlands, is set in modern times and mentions neither the Nazis nor why they murdered Anne Frank, the teenage diarist who wrote her world-famous journal while hiding in German-occupied Amsterdam during the Holocaust.

Esther Voet, the editor-in-chief of the Dutch-Jewish weekly NIW and a former leader of the CIDI watchdog on anti-Semitism, condemned the new play as “an unscrupulous falsification of history” in a scathing op-ed published Friday.

Apparently, “that pesky historical context, the one about the persecution of the Jews, that had to be done with already,” she wrote about the play. It is titled “Achter het Huis,” a phrase that means “behind the house.”

Voet singled out a “violent act” that is attributed in the play to Fritz Pfeffer, a Jewish dentist who lived with Anne Frank and her family and died in the Holocaust. At least one draft of the screenplay had him assaulting, possibly in a sexual manner, Margot Frank, Anne Frank’s sister, though there is no proof or an allegation that he had ever assaulted her or any other person.

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